B&W Matrix 803 Series 2 Floorstanding Speakers

4.63/5 (27 Reviews) MSRP : $3000.00


Product Description

(2) 6.5" Woofers, 6.5" Mid-Range and 1" Tweeter (1994-1998)


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Reviews 1 - 5 (27 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Robert W. Harrison a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: March 4, 2013

Bottom Line:   
I have many pairs of speakers including Klipsch, Polk, Bose, and several other brands. I have been into music listening for over 30 years and have found that the B&W 803 Series 2 speakers are among the best I have ever heard. Put with the right receiver or separates, they are some of the best for the money. They listed for $3,000 thirty years ago, but still today, have some of the best sound I have ever heard. The more power you drive them with the better. I use them primarily for music listening but have hooked them up on occasion in my home theater configuration and they do a great job of reproduction. They sound just as good today as the day I first auditioned them. I will keep them forever. Great speakers and pretty to look at also.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Hugo a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: April 26, 2012

Bottom Line:   
Speakers are controlled and well balanced, good bass, good treble, and very good media.
Very nice stereo image. You can listen all kind of music.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1998



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by TomH a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: September 9, 2011

Bottom Line:   
I compared these to the Martin Logan Ascent i speakers and found them very competitive, but a bit different in their sound. The B&W 803 creates a very precise sound stage with a tight image, substantial inner detail, and a very balanced response. The Martin Logan Ascent i's produce a very deep soundstage, with a concert hall sense of space and air around the instruments but a more amorphous sound stage. These are both excellent speakers and still near state of the art.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1998



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by j dan vignau a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: March 15, 2011

Bottom Line:   
After 20 years of listening to and tweaking Acoustat Spectra 11s as well as 30 years of B&W DM14/1400/12/1200/17s, I finally sold the Acoustats when I found a deal on these speakers.

There is no doubt that the Matrix technology works well. This is very apparent when comparing the DM14 etc. speakers which do resonate like most speakers. The 803 series 2 is a larger cabinet than the series 1 and adds a woofer for a much bigger sound. My listening room is very large, so most rock and blues requires subs which sit under the 803s. For folk and jazz, I rarely use the subs except on LPs and old CDs without much bass content. The concurrent 801 Matrix Series 3 is much less well defined and natural sounding.

The speakers are very open and terribly clean, to the point that bad recordings sound truly horrible. To make up for this, I have a second preamp and amp driving the subs with or without a crossover (DPDT switch). A little added upper sub sounds does wonders for a thin recording. A dedicated active sub would work about as well, but it needs to be rolled off around 50-60 cycle or less to match the mains on good recordings.

The speakers are as accurate as any I have heard and present a nicely detailed punch for the upper bass. They do not really need subs for a small room, but the speakers can overwhelm even my 500 square foot room.

The soundstage is not quite as big as the Acoustats, but that is the way big panel Electrostatics are. What is much better than the Acoustats is the quickness of the midrange and treble, especially since electrostatics don't extend very high in the frequency range. There is a reason that Martin Logan added tweeters to their 'stats. Check my review of the Acoustat Spectra 11/1100s for sub mods.

The crossover allows some bass info to go through the midrange drivers, slightly muffling the voices in this range. The combo of bass filter and biamping solves this issue completely. You can even see the lack of movement the mids have compared using a single amp.

One last point, 12 inch subs don't work as well as10s with these speakers, at least on my system which uses amps described in reviews as having "gargantian bass " (from Audio Emporium Hall of Fame).

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1995



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by René a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: July 24, 2005

Bottom Line:   
The B&W matrix 803 Series 2 are excellent speakers !
I have them now for a couple of months but I am sure I will keep them for many years.
The high, mid and low are all in balance~and very nice. Voices sound real.
Some people complaint about the fact that the bass is not deep enough, indeed the bass is not the deepest you can find, but is very fast, tight and precise. That is in my opion more important than only have a very deep bass.
Overall it a 5-star speaker for me!
I recommend it to you, you will not regret.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1995

Price Paid:    $875.00

Purchased At:   marktplaats.nl




Reviews 1 - 5 (27 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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